In today’s world, we all understand a little better how we impact the environment around us. Many of us are doing our bit, including swapping to electric cars, curbing those air miles or recycling as much as possible. However, what you may find surprising is just how remarkable and essential our native wildflowers are to our environment and how easily you can incorporate them in your back garden and community areas.
What are Wildflowers?
Wildflowers are various species of native flowers that grow in the wild, meaning they are not intentionally planted or seeded. They are nature’s wondrous blooms that prove themselves to be resilient and self-reproducing and often require very little attention. They provide us with naturally brilliant and stunning floral exhibitions, such as vast swathes of bluebells in the woods to gorgeous wild poppies in a field. And because many wildflowers prefer to be left alone to thrive in poor soil, they produce super colourful displays in most environments.
How do Wildflowers Benefit our Environment?
There are many reasons why wildflowers help the environment, including assisting in erosion control in forests and croplands through their intricate root systems. These underground life vessels also help create natural groundwater filtration systems reducing the impact of drought, but perhaps one of the most important reasons is they are fabulous pollinator plants. They naturally help support bee populations and other insects, which are crucial for our ecosystem. Many popular cultivated plants frequently planted in our gardens are often not suitable. They tend to have multiple petals that block insects from pollinating, or the plants themselves don’t have effective pollen-producing organs. Wildflowers and wildflower meadows create natural eco-friendly and biodiverse habitats that attract our pollinating insects such as butterflies and bees; and also birds and other small mammals, providing them with vital food, shelter and breeding places.
Wildflowers are Essential for Growing our Fruit, Vegetables and Crops
Insects and animals pollinate about 87% of flowering plants, and it’s this process that allows us to experience the gorgeous floral displays that this remarkable pollinating process brings. More importantly, though, is these pollinators are also responsible for growing our fruit, vegetables and other crops, even nuts and coffee. Studies show that as much as 85% of our food crops rely on pollination, which our bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other pollinators all do for free. It’s been pretty big news over the last few years that bee populations are dwindling, and if habitats continue to be lost to development, it won’t just be our buzzy friends that will continue to decline in numbers but all our other exceptionally efficient pollinating insects will dwindle in numbers too. If this does happen in the future, we won’t have enough pollinating insects, which means creating artificial pollination methods at great expense and time. Perhaps more importantly, though, it would also require yet more habitats to be developed to allow these artificial methods to exist. It’s bonkers, which is why our WildaHome team truly get worked up over wildflowers!
Let's go Wildflower crazy!
It’s so easy and straightforward for everyone to make a little space for wildflowers. They provide our friendly pollinating insects with food from leaves, pollen, and nectar, and it’s these super hard-working insects that transfer the pollen, regenerating our wildflowers into new plants, keeping our crops growing, and ensuring a healthy food supply. This incredible cycle depends on maintaining a healthy population of insects. Whether it’s your back gardens, schools, golf courses, or sports parks, if we all develop wildflower spaces wherever we can, we can help our insect and wildlife population thrive and grow. We can all play our part in maintaining the natural ecosystem.